This morning, I took a moment to pause and reflect on my life as it stands. When I think about what’s most important, of course, I think of my family first (Zohra is six now! and Sadia is three!). But loving them, and providing for them, comes pretty easily. Naturally, they are irascible at times, but by and large they are kindhearted, curious, creative, and boundlessly energetic. “Children strive lifeward”, as Dr. Ned Hallowell – my favorite author on children – likes to say.
But anyway, I digress.
The harder part about parenting is the responsibility I feel to show them what it means to make the most of my potential and to make the difference I want to see in the world. It’s been almost three years since I created my law firm dedicated to fighting gender and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and fighting for the rights of NYC tenants. Am I proud? Eff yeah. We have done incredible work; we’ve helped dozens and dozens of people get to a better place in their lives, and we’re only getting started.
My favorite part about thinking about my law firm is the security I feel in the knowledge that every single person on my team has a genuine desire, first and foremost, to help our clients. As employment and L&T litigators, we face difficult situations every day. Worse, we are all a bunch of quick-witted hotheads with strong opinions about virtually everything, and we all like to argue. But I never doubt, for even a second, that each person on my team has our clients’ best interests in mind. We are always, always thinking about what are the client’s goals, what will be best for the client, how can we save the client unnecessary legal fees, how is the client feeling about everything right now, has she changed her mind since we last checked in. That level of trust gives me great pride. It’s what makes me the happiest when I think about my firm.
Don’t get me wrong – I take great pride in our skills also! This year, the results speak for themselves. Our teamwork with our clients, whether pushing the envelope to fight gender and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace or fighting for our L&T clients’ tenancy rights, is something to celebrate. Some of the amazing results we obtained this past year:
- Secured substantial six-figure settlements for two clients sexually harassed by their employer
- Secured a monetary recovery for client subject to extremely hostile work environment including sexist slurs and profanity. She’s now at a new job where she can focus on her talents, and not suffering through constant attack
- Negotiated a substantial recovery for an employee who was fired while pregnant
- Won reimbursement of attorney’s fees for client who was temporarily absent from his rent-stabilized home due to family obligations
- Through targeted and strategic litigation, we successfully persuaded a recalcitrant Board to let our clients sell their HDFC unit, where prior counsel had tried and failed. (Sometimes moving on = #winning)
- Persuaded the court to seal public records in a litigation matter involving sensitive and potentially embarrassing facts, preserving our client’s privacy and dignity
- Successfully resolved a defamation case against our client, in a case involving sexual assault allegations
- Successfully represented multiple leasehold guarantors facing claims of nonpayment (kids, amirite?)
- Represented a pregnant woman whose employer told her that her promotion, and her job itself, were in jeopardy as a result of her planned maternity leave. We showed up and they changed their tune
- Represented several domestic violence victims who were forced to flee their apartments, by aggressively advocating with the landlord for peaceful departures on favorable terms
- Secured monetary recovery, from a large institutional employer, for our client who was terminated in connection with breastfeeding at her workplace
- Negotiated multiple substantial six-figure buyouts on behalf of our L&T clients whose priorities changed over the course of litigation
- Obtained money judgments for unpaid wages and rent overcharges, and payment for unpaid contract work by a prominent political figure
- Sued building for damage caused during construction, resulting in substantial monetary recovery to client
- In another construction case, we negotiated a significant rent abatement AND relocation to a (peaceful and quiet!) temporary apartment
- Worked with Fortune 500 company, and various international educational institutions, to correct erroneous information which had been included in our client’s HR and employment background files
- Fought off eviction from our client’s rent-stabilized apartment after serious Airbnb allegations, enabling her to remain peacefully
…. and countless other successful resolutions for clients who just needed help and came to the right place!
But there is more to come!!
- #NYCStripperStrike: we are proud to represent Gizelle Marie and the other strong and fearless women taking a stand against sexual assault and harassment in strip clubs, as well as other illegal practices including race and gender discrimination, and wage and hour violations. We are suing three clubs so far, and more lawsuits are coming. Stay tuned.
- This month, we filed a lawsuit in federal court against NYPIRG for pregnancy discrimination against our client. NYPIRG: you are better than this!
- We have filed several other cases, still pending at the administrative level, for many of our clients whose employers thought they could get away with gender and/or pregnancy discrimination.
- We have filed a lawsuit against Susan’s own former boss, for interfering with her maternity leave and trying to renege on her family leave agreement by harassing her to return to work in the middle of her leave.
- We have multiple rent overcharge cases pending in court, including a case where building-wide fraud is alleged.
I am so grateful to those of you who have offered your support to the firm, whether you are a former client who was willing to write us an online review, a fellow attorney willing to trust us enough to refer us a case, or a friend who still loves me even though you never see me anymore because I have no social life (okay, we’ll work on that next year).
Happy holidays, and here’s to a momentous 2019!
With love and appreciation,